Entrepreneurial Opportunity Exploitation for New Venture Performance

Abstract: New ventures drive innovation and economic growththrough commercializingideas, products and businesses when the market has a need for it and create the market need to bring about socioeconomic development. However, most new ventures struggle with survival and achieving early stage financial performance. Therefore, this dissertation investigates the influencing factors related to entrepreneurial opportunity exploitation for new venture performance. Specifically, the overarching purpose of this dissertation is addressed through five unique studies with the following focus:Paper I Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition: A Review.This paper addresses the status of the existing research on the prominent factors that influence entrepreneurial opportunity recognition toward successful exploitation of opportunities and discusses what can be anticipated from future research in this domain.Paper II Moderating effect of subjective strategic perceptions of environmental conditions. This paper investigates the way in which an entrepreneur’s subjective interpretation of strategically relevant cues in the venture environment affects the likelihood of applying causation or effectuation to influence initial venture sales.Paper III Moderating effect of entrepreneurial alertness. This paper investigates the influence of entrepreneurial alertness on new venture performance in relation to causation and effectuation approaches.Paper IV Information Processing Capability. This paper examines how founders engage in strategic diagnosis in lower development stages of venture information processing structures.Paper V Strategic Alliances.This studyinvestigates the effect of imitative opportunities on technological advancement experienced by industry incumbents.This dissertation is based upon a systematic literature review and two empirical studies. First, a survey study was conducted with 1,000 Swedish new ventures. The data for this study came from two sources: 1) perceptual data from a survey of founders (2012)and 2) objective first-sale performance data from an archival source (2012–2014). Second, the study compiled a dataset of public companies across 26 different industries that varied in terms of their technological prowess and strategies employed to exploit imitation opportunities between 1998 and 2001. Most variables were gathered from Compustat. The information on partnerships between incumbents and startups as well as the information on connections between incumbents that could facilitate imitation was accessed via the SDC Platinum dataset and the directories published by Asset Alternatives.These studies make numerous contributions to the entrepreneurship literature. First, this research emphasizes the factors that influence opportunity exploitation processes for new venture performance. For example, decision-making approachesin relation to capability and environmental conditions t are important for new ventureperformance. The capability of the founding entrepreneur to consider strategic challenges asopportunities increases the odds of commercialization.We also find that those entrepreneurs who interpret the environment as having potential gain also prefer and benefit from effectuation more than those who interpret the environment as having potentialloss.Second, this study explores influencing role of entrepreneurial alertness in new venture performance. When an entrepreneur with greater alertness follows a causation approach, this has a higher effecton performance than following an effectuation approach. Third, this study shows that strategic alliances exert a direct impact on new venture performance. This means that the new venture’s ability to connect to the right ally boosts performance; otherwise, the choice of ally can cost the new venture itsposition in the market and affect its performance. Hence, entering into a new market with the right entrepreneurial action enables a new venture to enhance performance.The dissertation is a compilation dissertation consisting of five articles. Each individual paper offers deep insight into each entrepreneurial opportunity exploitation factor related to new venture performance.